02 August 2020
China has been seeking to woo Southeast Asian nations with economic incentives and the promise of pandemic aid in an effort to push them to take sides in the escalating rivalry between Washington and Beijing over the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The latest spike in regional tensions followed a mid-July statement from Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, that denounced China’s maritime claims as “completely unlawful,” setting up potential future military confrontations with Beijing by accusing it of a “campaign of bullying” to control the region.
“There is little reason for these countries to take a stronger stance in support of Pompeo’s statement because generally they don’t want to get caught in the rivalry or they do not want to alienate China as a key economic trade and investment partner,” said Collin Koh, Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
RSIS / Print
Last updated on 03/08/2020